Tang Tingbin , 28, left a well-paid job as an industrial designer in the US to take up a teaching post at the China Academy of Fine Arts. He came back an idealist but, six months on, he tells Irene Wang of his doubts about the move When and why did you come back to China? I came back in October and taught for two months at the China Academy of Fine Arts before formally joining the academy in spring. When I was in Chicago, life was very comfortable. I had a house with a garden, a girlfriend and a dog named Tickle. I had a good job ... Everything seemed settled, but I didn't have a sense of value or fulfilment. My school dean, who also gave up his tenure at Yale University, encouraged me to establish a course on automotive design at the academy, so I came back. Do you feel disappointed after coming back to China? I thought China was changing very quickly, and in reality, it is, but I find the changes are mainly in hardware, instead of software. Universities are enlarging their enrolment every year but teaching standards are declining. I am paid a basic monthly salary of 1,300 yuan and a teaching payment that comes to a total of 2,500 yuan. How do you make ends meet? I rent an apartment for 1,500 yuan and phone calls cost me 500 yuan. I also have to pay for transport and food. I'm OK but I have a big family in my home town in Hunan . I am supposed to help them financially because I was good enough to study and work in the US. But now, I can hardly make it. All I can do is to exchange the US dollars I saved into yuan. Is it true you earned your tuition fees in the US? Yes. I needed US$50,000 a year and I studied for three years ... I worked in restaurants but I could not make enough money from it. So I drew portraits for tourists on the street from morning till midnight. So are you torn between staying in China and going back to the US? Yes, I always am. If I can't stick it out here, I can go back to the US again to find a job. But I really don't want to.